What does the expression “not for money, marbles, nor chalk” mean and Where does it come from?

The expression “not for money, marbles, nor chalk” means: Not for any consideration whatever; absolutely not; utterly incorruptible.

Although “marbles,” in this expression, could be taken to mean “slight value,” with “chalk” indicating “no value,” we think it more likely to be a slight mispronunciation of meubles, a term of French origin used both in France and England to mean “personal property.”

Thus the expression would literally mean, “not for real property, personal property, nor useless property.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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